Family days out near me: Musselburgh, East Lothian - Let Newhailes provide the perfect backdrop for your next grand day out

If it’s a grand day out your looking for, look no further than Musselburgh for one of East Lothian’s hidden gems.
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Name: Newhailes House and Gardens

Description: A Palladian style country house standing in 80 acres of parkland on the edge of Musselburgh.Owned by the National Trust for Scotland, the estate boasts beautiful woodland walks, apiaries and allotments, and is home to Weehailes adventure play park.

Location: Newhailes Road, Musselburgh, EH21 6RY.The property is six miles south-east of Edinburgh city centre, just off the A1 at the Newcraighall junction. Lothian Buses 30, 26 and 44 and First Buses 140 and 141 stop nearby and Newcraighall Station is a 20-minute walk from the entrance.

Visitors to Newhailes House can explore its stunning interiors and beautiful gardens, while learning about the fascinating lives of its former owners, the influential Dalrymple family.Visitors to Newhailes House can explore its stunning interiors and beautiful gardens, while learning about the fascinating lives of its former owners, the influential Dalrymple family.
Visitors to Newhailes House can explore its stunning interiors and beautiful gardens, while learning about the fascinating lives of its former owners, the influential Dalrymple family.
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Suitable for: Between the house, grounds and play park, the estate offers something for all ages.The house is unsuitable for wheelchair access due to its historic layout.The visitor centre, shop, café and toilets are all on one level and there’s an all-ability path in part of the water garden woods. Seating areas in and around Weehailes are accessible for wheelchairs.Dogs are welcome.

Entry costs: House tours – Adults, £12; Concesssions, £10; Children,£6; Family, £30; Under-5s, free.Weehailes – Adults, £1; Children, £3; Family, £8; Under-3s, free.NTS members go free.

Opening hours: The estate is open daily from dawn to dusk. Pre-booked tours of the house operate daily, from 10am during the summer. Weehailes is also open daily, from 10am to 5pm, until the end of September (check the website for seasonal changes).

What they say: “Step back in time and discover what secrets and curiosities Newhailes House holds within its 300-year-old walls.“Enjoy woodland walks in the 18th-century designed landscape, with views across the River Forth, and afterwards treat yourself to a delicious lunch in our Stables Café.”Inspire your child’s imagination as they climb, crawl, slide and explore in Weehailes.”

Stables Cafe and Weehailes play park are popular with visitorsStables Cafe and Weehailes play park are popular with visitors
Stables Cafe and Weehailes play park are popular with visitors
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What visitors say: “One of the best visits I’ve done with the trust. The tour is simply a must do. So glad I didn’t miss this hidden gem”“Great place to explore with the dogs. Beautiful backdrop of Newhailes House. Perfect for families, to take your dog a walk. Love the addition of the new dog friendly cafe.”“Today it was all about the kids and visiting the wonderful Weehailes adventure park which is like a miniature Dalkeith country park with treehouses, a flying fox from a barn, wooden domes and bridges...”

Look out for: The house (but not the grounds) is closed to visitors on Saturday, May 21.A farmers’ market is held on the third weekend of every month (Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am to 3pm).

Parking: There’s a charge of £3 a day per vehicle for non-members.

Facilities: The Stables cafe serves lunches and snacks and there are picnic next to the play park. The site has fully accessible toilets and a gift shop.